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Cork City get FAI Cup final day off to the perfect start by lifting the women's trophy

Clare Shine bagged the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over UCD Waves this afternoon.

The Cork City players celebrate with the trophy.
The Cork City players celebrate with the trophy.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ben Blake reports from the Aviva Stadium

UCD Waves 0
Cork City 1

UNDERDOGS CORK CITY have been crowned Women’s FAI Cup champions for the first time in their history after a 1-0 victory over UCD Waves.

Ahead of the men’s showcase between the Leesiders and Dundalk, a first-half goal from Clare Shine proved decisive at the Aviva Stadium as their gameplan of resolute defending and breaking at pace worked a treat.

Despite being without experienced striker Aine O’Gorman — ruled out with a medial ligament injury picked up in Ireland’s win over Northern Ireland in September — 2014 finalists UCD came into the match as favourites and dominated possession in the opening half without creating much in the way of clear-cut chances.

Most of their play went through Chloe Mustaki in the centre of the field, but City goalkeeper Amanda Budden was rarely called into action.

Instead, it was Cork who looked most likely to score on the counter attack with former Glasgow City centre forward Shine a constant threat.

Claire Shine and Tara O’Gorman Clare Shine and Chloe Mustaki were heavily involved for their respective teams. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Shine had already called opposing stopper Brook Dunne into action when Cork minor GAA star Saoirse Noonan put her through on goal with a neat ball over the top.

On that occasion, the 22-year-old was unable to hit the target but travelling City fans wouldn’t have to wait much longer to witness their side go in front.

With 35 minutes played, Katie McCarthy got her head up on the halfway line and found the run of Shine. She showed great feet to round the goalkeeper and squeeze the ball home from a tight angle for her 18th goal of the season.

The second half was five minutes old when Karen Duggan struck wide after a super cross from Mustaki. The flag went up for offside, but replays showed the defender was well on.

Down the other end, Cork had a glorious chance to double their advantage just after the hour mark. Nathalie O’Brien’s throw-in found Shine but a clearance was deflected into the path of Noonan, who fired weakly at Dunne.

Waves boss Noel Kealy threw on Naima Chemaou in an effort to bring more movement up front, and it very nearly paid dividends straight away. Her closing down forced Budden to play the ball to Catherine Cronin under pressure. Cronin attempted to find the empty net from long range but couldn’t execute the finish.

UCD huffed and puffed in the final 20 minutes, but once again Cork created better openings.

A last-ditch tackle from Claire Walsh was needed to stop Shine’s strong run, then Dunne pulled off an excellent save to prevent Danielle Sheehy from adding a second late on.

In the final minute, Mustaki’s free-kick was on target and Budden appeared to step back over the line as she caught the ball. Without the advantage of goal-line technology, however, it was extremely difficult to tell.

UCD WAVES: Dunne, Duggan, Walsh, Carroll, Cahill, Mustaki, Beirne (Kelly 82), Nolan, Cronin, Letmon (Chemaou 64), Dunbar (Gaynor 90).

CORK CITY: Budden, Burke, O’Brien, McNamara, Duncliffe, Bourque, O’Donovan (Dring 64), Noonan (O’Gorman 82), Sheehy, Shine, McCarthy.

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LIVE: UCD Waves v Cork City, FAI Cup final

From standing on the terraces at Oriel Park to chasing a Cork double at Dundalk’s expense

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Ben Blake

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